Consider Life

Medicine is not just a profession, but is a way of life. It's a multi-million dollar career that will last for 35 years. So, it's really important to have a vision of how your choice of specialty will have an impact on your whole life.

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Publish Date
Sep 23, 2021
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Of Note; this is part of the course:
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Section: 1.0 - Lifestyle Consideration
🔗 For enrollment and details, please visit:

 
Medicine is not just a profession, but is a way of life. So, it's really important to have a vision of how your choice of specialty will have an impact on your whole life.

Priorities & Prejudice

Three Highest Priorities when Choosing a Medical Specialty are:
 
  1. Job Satisfaction
  1. Lifestyle after Training
  1. Impact on Patient
 
"Medical students in their first month of training have already considered their specialty preferences, despite limited exposure.
 
However, students are not fixed in their specialty preference. Our findings further support previous results, but expand what students consider when choosing their specialty early in their training.
 
Medical educators and administrators who recognize and understand the importance of these considerations may further enhance career counseling and medical education curricula."
 

3 Ps: Purpose, Passion & Personality

First and foremost, you need to define these three things:
  1. Personality - Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you someone who enjoys research or someone who enjoys innovation?
  1. Purpose - It's the driving force that pushes you even when things go wrong.
  1. Passion - It's the way you follow to attain the purpose.
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It doesn't matter what your purpose is, but it's important that you identify it and also write it down (including the pathway to achieve it).
 
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What you write down as your purpose, passion, and personality is what you will be writing in your personal statement.
 
Another approach would be going for the middle ground of what makes you smarter, happier as well as helpful to others.
 
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Framework in Deciding Wisely - Stepwise Approach

Step 1: Medical vs Physicians’ Physician vs Surgical

The first step is to decide between medical vs surgical vs Physicians' Physician. Physicians' Physician refers to those who do not communicate with the patients directly but with other physicians.
 

Medical

Hospitalist
Critical Care
Neurology

Physicians' Physician

Radiology
Histology
Anesthesiologist

Surgical

Gen Surgery
Trauma Surgery
Neurosurgery

Step 2: Understanding Spectrum of Care

Care can be divided into multiple acuity levels and it's important to understand the spectrum of care.
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Step 3: Spectrum Lies Within Specialty

Another important thing that you need to understand is that the spectrum can lie within the specialty or subspecialty of your choice.
 
  • HyperAcute
    • Stroke
  • Acute/Critical Care
    • Neurocritical Care
  • Chronic Care
    • Headache/Epilepsy/MS
  • End-of-Life Care
    • Palliative Care
  • Preventative/Primary Care
    • MS
  • Palliative Care
 

Step 4: Understanding Training Pathways

Have a long view of your training, as well as its implications because it's hard to do neurosurgery for eight years and then do another year of spine surgery.
 
  • US (In most, IM to subspecialty training)
    • Intern > Resident > Fellow
  • US (Neurology, Psychiatry etc)
    • Intern > Psychiatry > Subspecialty
      Also applicable to select surgical SS
  • Other Countries
    • Internal Medicine > Neurology > Subspecialty
 

Step 5: Plan Ahead - Life Evolves

 
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References:


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